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Winter Watering – How Much Is Enough?

There’s a trick to watering efficiently without creating excessive evaporation or runoff. It involves precision and an important piece of equipment — the water wand. Hand water those problem areas.

There is an art to watering proficiently with a handheld hose and I was surprised to learn how many people don’t know the finer techniques of hand-watering.

Our clay dominated soils generally don’t allow immediate infiltration so it’s important to gradually apply small amounts of water. There’s a trick to watering efficiently without creating excessive evaporation or runoff.

  • Start at one section of your landscape and move slowly in one direction.
  • Keep moving — you don’t want to create puddles of water.
  • Apply water directly to the plant, not from 20 feet away.
  • Repeat the process until you’ve covered your whole landscape.

The most important piece of equipment in watering is an attached water wand – not your thumb!  Thumbs are just not adaptable in mimicking a natural rainfall, which is the best way to water plants. A wand that can be shut off and with a head that spreads the water in many uniform beads is the ultimate tool in mimicking rain.

Maintain your garden hose and it will serve you well. Always bring it in from the elements. Coil it in loose loops and hang it on something, but never a nail or wire hook. Gently work out any kinks by hand. Never, ever let it sit on the ground.

Watering with a handheld hose is allowed any day and time. It’s also an enjoyable, relaxing way to spend time in your yard.

Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson is a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you’re likely to find him hiking San Antonio’s wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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